Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pro-gay bullies need to heed own advice - live and let live

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

America lost an aviation pioneer this week. Sally Ride, America’s first female in space passed away at the age of 61.

The news following her death seemed to be less about her accomplishments as an astronaut and as a person. Instead, many media outlets chose to look into her sexual preference. Ride had been involved in a relationship with another woman for the past 27 years.

This led some pro-gay cheerleaders to criticize Ride’s decision to not go public with her homosexuality. I wonder if it ever occurred to these people that Ride and her partner decided long ago that their relationship was their personal business and their’s alone.
In bygone times, homosexuals kept their relationships quiet so as not to be ostracized by others, just as women who became pregnant were sent away by their family, in disgrace, to hide the “mistake” and have the baby elsewhere.

The world has changed. Today, young, single women get pregnant on purpose. Families support a teen who “gets into trouble,” (to use a phrase from earlier times.)

Another thing that seems to have changed is our right to express our own opinion. The pro-homosexual community has succeeded in making anyone who dares to voice a dissenting opinion look and feel foolish. They have made being “gay” cool … chic.

Personally, I have had about all that I can take of this politically correct, walk-on-eggshells-when-you-talk-about-anything-because-you-might-offend-someone crap.

I attribute much of the change to the fact that today’s American’s are more weak-minded than past generations. We are losing our ability to think for ourselves and instead, blindly follow others. History shows us that those who choose to be led like sheep to slaughter will perish. God gave each of us a mind of our own.

The issue is not about heterosexuals accepting homosexuals for who they are. This issue is about a select group of homosexuals flaunting their lifestyle and demanding that we all express equal support for them.

Too many loud-mouth, pro-gay people seem to think that we no longer have a right to our own opinion. Those same extremists also think that we have no right to privacy in our personal lives.

Did anyone stop to think that Sally Ride and Tam O’Shaughnessy may have decided that their personal lives were no one’s business but their own? What gives the pro-gay cheer section the right to determine what others choose to share, or keep private, in their personal lives?

The pro-gay cheer section loudly yells, “Live and let live,” yet anyone who dares to disagree with them is taunted and jeered. We hear much about bullying. This is classic bullying at its best.

As I grow older, I believe that it is not a matter of a man or a woman being attracted to another man or woman. An individual’s personal preference and belief is just that, their personal preference. That is not saying that I do not have an opinion as to what I believe. I am saying that another person’s business is none of mine.

When in public, I do not care to have a pair of homosexuals hanging all over each other … any more than I want to see heterosexuals “going at it” in public. That is not to say that I am offended by innocuous displays of affection for one’s friend or partner. No one should feel that they cannot express their feelings. Like everything in life — there is a time and place. What goes on behind closed doors is no one’s business.

My message to the pro-gay, ram-our-lifestyle-down-everyone’s-throat cult is, shut up and leave everyone to their own opinion. I will respect your lifestyle and your opinion … just as soon as you respect mine.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorado shooting suspect, if guilty, faces only one fate ... or at least that is what should happen.

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

Most everyone has, by now, heard about the tragic shootings in a Colorado movie theatre on Friday morning.

There is no doubt that this was a very tragic event. I am sure that all of us share in the sadness, sorrow and shock at the events that transpired.

This is perhaps jumping the gun, but I am already filled with apprehension as to the stories and angles that will be sought, as well as the conclusions to be drawn by members of the media and the public as the investigation into this horrible act unfolds.

Our first concern is, as it should be, for the victims and their families. News hounds are already searching for anyone who might have known someone who went to school with the cousin of one of the victims.

And then, there is — the shooting suspect.

From our perspective on this case less than 24 hours after the shootings, we have a young man in his early 20’s who, allegedly entered the theatre after first tossing either smoke or gas, then began shooting at patrons.

Police apparently apprehended the suspect outside the theatre, still in possession of one, or more weapons.

I know that everyone, myself included, would love to know the answer to one question, "Why?" We may, or may not, ever truly know the answer to that question.

Police will investigate to learn more. Psychologists will undoubtedly get a crack at the suspect. CNN probably has Dr. Gupta already preparing his dissertation into the suspect's state of mind at the time as well as his sanity. The remaining members of the media will follow every move made by the suspect. They will probably also track down his family, if they have not already done that.

None of this is new. One has only to look at other high-profile cases over the years. Lee Harvey Oswald comes to mind. It was the media's obsession with the man who killed President John F. Kennedy that put Dallas Times-Herald photographer Robert Jackson in the parking garage at Dallas Police Headquarters to document that moment when Jack Ruby killed Kennedy's assassin.

So it shall also be with the Colorado shooting suspect. His life will be put under a microscope. His family will be hounded. Everyone will want to know why he did "it." What is sad, is that even if the suspect bares his soul, certain factions of the media will not believe him and will continue to search for their own version of the truth.

When all is said and done, will any of it matter? Sure, knowing why might answer some questions. Will knowing why a young man opened fire on a theatre full of innocent people bring back those he murdered? Will it ease the pain of the wounded or lessen the pain of family members?

Does anyone care to place a bet on the phrase, "insanity plea" being thrown about as a defense attorney or public defender weighs in on this tragedy?

Whether, or not, the suspect is sane should have no bearing at all on this case. Why he chose to massacre innocent people should not matter in this case.

This will turn out to be a prime case of how screwed up our justice system is in America. Granted, everyone is innocent until proven guilty ... beyond a reasonable doubt.

What about times where someone commits a crime, or crimes, so heinous that there is but one alternative, to remove that person from our society? What about when those crimes are committed in a situation where there is absolutely no doubt as to who perpetrated the act?

There are some acts where "why" does play an important factor. There are some acts that are so heinous that "why" should be of no consequence.

If it is determined that the young man in custody for the early morning shootings in the Colorado movie theatre, is without a doubt, the man who pulled the trigger, time, after time, after time, shooting down men, women and children, in cold blood, then there is only one fate that can be handed down.

This young man should then be executed. If he is, in fact, guilty, his trial should be held quickly. Evidence should be presented. If it is determined that he did perpetrate the crime, he should be sentenced to death, the sentence to be carried out immediately.

End of story.

Friday, July 13, 2012

After recent damaging storms - Thank You to ... most everyone

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

This column is a little belated. I got sidetracked by last week’s 2012 Dayton Air Show so my apologies to those deserving folks who are my subject this week.

As we enjoy our recent respite from last week’s heat wave, our memories of the wind storms of June 29 and July 1 are beginning to recede, but all we have to do is look around us as we travel through the city and evidence of the storm’s fury is still everywhere.

The storms took a heavy toll in both the city and county. A number of folks suffered property damage and there were also injuries related to the Friday storm.

It is difficult to find anyone who was not without electricity at some point during the storms.

If you have not done so already, the next time that you see one of our city workers, in particular those who work for Piqua Power Distribution, take a minute to shake their hand and thank them for a job well-done.

The fact that Piqua has its own power plant gave us a leg up on everyone. In spite of unprecedented electric supply failures due to the storm, our distribution people had a majority of the city back up and running in just three hours.

Those same hard-working individuals, after making emergency repairs, began the long and difficult task of getting power restored to all customers and replacing destroyed poles, transformers and equipment. They operated on little sleep or even time away from work, until everything was repaired or replaced and the citizens of our community could get back to business as usual.

Our streets and parks departments people also did, and are continuing to do, an outstanding job of removing and cleaning up the hundreds upon hundreds of trees and branches that were down everywhere we looked. Railroad tracks, roadways, sidewalks and bike paths were all blocked by trees and our city crews worked diligently to clean up after Mother Nature.

The fire department, taking the storm, and subsequent flood of calls for service in stride, responded to everything from a man who was injured when the truck he was sitting in was struck by a large tree, to calls of power lines and transformers on fire.

The police department was also busy checking out dangerous situations such as reports of downed power lines. Minutes after the storm subsided, Chief Bruce Jamison and City Manager Gary Huff were out working alongside their fellow city workers, blocking off streets where downed trees and power lines posed a risk to motorists and placing orange traffic cones to alert motorists and pedestrians to possible danger.

Perhaps some of the least noticed but most overwhelmed workers the nights of those storms were the men and women in the Miami County 9-1-1 call center. The number of calls received during the storms was nearly astronomical, yet they sorted through the calls to “triage” and determine which of the hundreds of calls were emergency status and which could be handled later.

It should be noted that most every one of the city and county workers who were on the job that weekend, working overtime and on little sleep, did so in spite of the fact that they, too, had families and property that needed attention as they also coped with issues from the storms.

That weekend was not a whole lot of fun for anyone. Many people suffered property damage.
Fortunately, injuries from the event were minor. Most everyone was inconvenienced to some extent.

Looking back, one of the things that strikes me most is the teamwork that came into play. Every department within the city and county came together to keep all of us safe, to protect us from danger following the event, to begin the job of repairing and cleaning, almost before the storm clouds moved away.

A huge and heart-felt thank you to everyone, public employees and civilians alike, who pitched in as one team to get us through our spell of rough weather. And, an equal thank you to the families of all of these hard-working men and women. You know that your spouse/dad/mom’s job keeps them away from home at some of the most trying times but you manage to keep things going at home anyway.

Well done!